Devoted Fathers

My hero didn’t lead legions of men into combat. He didn’t play organized sports, let alone in the professional ranks, and he certainly never wore tights and a cape. (If he ever did, I don’t want to hear about it.) Every weekday my hero wore a light blue shirt with dark blue pants and steel-toe boots. In one hand was lunch box, a took box in the other. In my hero’s future there will not be a hall of fame induction ceremony or  a statue erected in his honor. But there is no man more deserving of the label hero than my hero, my dad.
While he didn’t win medals for heroics in combat or awards for athletic exploits, dad did go to work every day. He came home to his family every night. Put food on our table, clothes on our backs, and a shelter over our heads. He was there. Always. Dad demonstrated faithfulness to Christ, to mom, and to church. No man has worked harder and laughed louder than my hero. I love hearing dad laugh. Working with him wasn’t always pleasant, because that meant I had to work hard, too. Dad didn’t suffer laziness. But as I grew into manhood that lesson was one I appreciated more and more.
I was born privileged. Not because I was born white, American, or healthy. My native privilege was being born to a mother and father who loved each other and me, and who in time came to love Christ and His church. They still do.

Devoted Dads

Today is Father’s Day, and in our service this morning we will walk through a familiar text (Ephesians 6:4), especially for this day. Until then, consider that text’s parallel passage. Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” God’s Word calls dad to not exasperate their children. Here are eight exasperaters I heard Alistair Begg share once. I’ll share them with you. We must avoid. 
  1. Failing to allow them to be children
  2. Treating them with harshness and cruelty
  3. Ridiculing them in front of others
  4. Displaying favoritism/making comparisons
  5. Failing to express approval
  6. Being arbitrary in discipline/lacking consistency
  7. Neglecting them/making them feel like intruders
  8. Seeking to achieve our goals through their lives
That’s what not to do. Here is what we should do.
  1. Cherish them fondly.
  2. Rear them tenderly.
  3. Sustain them spiritually.
  4. Deal with them individually.

Only One Perfect Dad

There is only One perfect Dad. God the Father is the ultimate pattern to follow, but none of us will follow Him exactly. The goal isn’t to be perfect. My hero isn’t. The goal is to be devoted. My hero is. I can be. So may you. But only as we “above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:14-17


A Legacy of Love

Today is my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. That is a milestone worth celebrating, and we will do just that as a family today. Tomorrow is Ken and Jealetta Roberts’ 50th anniversary. They were long time missionaries out of this church, and are still much loved by this congregation. There are more than a few in our church family that have celebrated 50 years (and more), or that are approaching that golden mark. I remember as a child celebrating my Momaw and Popaw’s 50th anniversary. Those kind of legacies, a legacy of love, are more valuable than any inheritance.
No marriage is perfect. To hope for or desire a perfect union is to want what can never be delivered, and that makes disappointment and discouragement inevitable. While no marriage is perfect, there are those that last long and well. They persevere and improve over time because…
  • Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”
  • 1 Peter 4:8-9, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”

Dr. R. Albert Mohler is correct when he writes that, “You are an ancestor to someone yet to come. If you live your life knowing you are an ancestor, that will change the way you make decisions, the way you live your life, the way you love your wife [or husband].” With all the above in mind, here are four fundamentals that will enable any marriage to leave a legacy of love.

#1 – Fear the Lord and obey Him.

Psalm 112:1-2 says, “Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.”

A personal relationship with and commitment to the Lord Jesus is where everything begins. Christ must be at the center, or everything will be out of balance.

#2 – Be committed to serving Christ through the local church.

The institution of marriage was created and designed by God for our good and His glory. The institution of the church has likewise been founded by and built upon the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are to leave a lasting legacy to those who will come behind, then that requires faithful and joyful membership in a Bible-believing, Bible-practicing local church. Our Lord established the church and promised to perpetuate her until the end (Matthew 16:17-19). The Bible teaches that a man’s love for His wife should be like Christ’s love for His church (Ephesians 5:22-33). Christ commissioned and empowered the church to make disciples until His return (Acts 1:6-8; Matthew 28:18-20).

This commitment includes but is not limited to regular attendance. Meaningful membership is necessary if we are to follow the biblical model of Christianity. Building a legacy that is dug down deep in the gospel of Jesus Christ will necessarily involve being rooted in the local church. “Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to shew that the Lord is upright: He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Psalm 92:13-15

#3 – Be a couple devoted to prayer and the Word.

Paul told Timothy, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou also to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:1-2)

This principle is not restricted to discipleship in a church setting or to training men for the ministry. Parents are to instruct their children, by word and example, the truths of God’s Word. Before you have children, and even if you do not have children, you are to be devoted to encouraging and equipping others to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

#4 – Depend upon the Holy Spirit’s leadership.

Right before the primary New Testament section used to teach about marriage comes the admonition to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:15-21; c.f. John 14:23-27; 16:7-16). The Lord has provided every believer with three resources to enable and equip us for faithfulness and fidelity in our marriages, and in all other areas of life: His Spirit, His Word, and His church.

Following these four fundamentals will not guarantee that pain, suffering, conflict, and problems will never arise in your marriage, your church-life, your profession, or with your children. If you will be jointly committed to these four fundamentals they will ensure that you will be equipped as a married couple to meet each challenge with confidence and grace for the moment, that you will draw closer to God and one another during difficult days rather than drifting apart from each other and away from Him, and that you will leave a lasting legacy of love, faithfulness, and fidelity to one another and your Lord.


One Way

Would you drive from Mount Vernon to Louisville by heading to Harlan? Of course not. We all know that to get to the desired destination we have to take the right road. We have to go in the right direction.

The same thing is true of trying to get to heaven, yet many believe that all religions lead to God. The truth is that no religion leads to God!

In the Bible we read that:

  • Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”1
  • Despite the danger from the same religious leaders who had killed Jesus, Peter plainly preached that salvation is only in Jesus: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”2
  • Paul said, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all.”3
  • The Apostle John said, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”4
The Bible is God’s Word, and it makes clear that apart from Christ there is absolutely no way to the Father and no eternal life in heaven. Other religions offer systems of thought that cross the gap between men and God, but Jesus is the only One who has bridged that divide. Christ said “for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”5 Only those who take the narrow way of Jesus Christ will find eternal life in heaven.

Jesus’ Exclusive Claims

Jesus claimed:I am the way.” Jesus does not merely show a way to God, He is the only way to God. He spans the otherwise unreachable distance between a righteous God and unrighteous sinners like us.
Jesus claimed:I am the truth.” Truth implies an objective standard that does not change like cultural fads or trends. Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”6 Come to Him “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”7
Jesus claimed: “I am the life.” Without Jesus we are spiritually dead. But when we repent of our sins and believe on Jesus we are made spiritually alive. Scripture says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”8

Christ’s resurrection from the dead was the absolute proof that He was indeed the Son of God, just like He said He was. He is the Light of the world that conquers sin, death, and the grave.

Rising from the dead proved that Jesus had paid the price of our sin. The resurrection proved that God the Father accepted the substitutionary sacrifice of God the Son. More evidence of Jesus’ resurrection is that before He ascended back into heaven He met with over 500 of His followers to leave final instructions and encouragement (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-9).

There is no way to be saved but through Jesus Christ!

Religion—including the religion of atheism—cannot save or prepare one for eternity. The only way to be prepared is to repent of your sins and believe in Jesus, the One who gave His life in place of ours: “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.”9

Jesus is the way that must be taken, the truth that must be believed, and the life in which we must walk. Will you believe in the One who can—and will—bring you to God? Place your faith in Christ alone today. He promises, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”10

Bible references: 1John 14:6, 2Acts 4:12, 31Timothy 2:5-6, 41John 5:12, 5Matthew 7:13-14, 6Hebrews 13:8, 7John 8:32, 8John 3:18, 91 Peter 3:18, 10John 6:37

Bible Baptist Church exists to see unbelieving people become committed followers of Jesus Christ. If you have any questions about what you have read, or if there is any way in which we can minister to you, please contact us.









Appetites Dictate Directions

How’s your appetite? Are you hungry? To be more specific, what do you desire? Appetites dictate directions. Craving a burger means you won’t visit the closest Chinese buffet. Being hungry for BBQ will not land you in Olive Garden.
A rumbling tummy dictates what is pulled from the fridge or which restaurant is visited, because  appetites dictate directions. Hungering for anyone or anything above God will always lead to dissatisfaction and malnourishment. God alone is able to satisfy and sustain you. Every time. All the time.
We worship what we hunger for most. That’s why the psalmist says:
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.” Psalm 34:8-9
Don’t overlook the “ye his saints” in that passage. “Saint” is a Biblical synonym for believer; not a designation for elite, specialized believers. That is emphasized because only believers are able to eat from God’s impressive and inexhaustible banquet table. That’s not an elitist statement, because anyone can belly up to that table, just as long as you are in Christ.
Those who are in Christ have been rescued from sin’s wages, which is death, by God’s grace through faith in Christ Jesus. Those who are in Christ have been set on a new path, headed in His direction, given a new appetite. Appetites dictate directions. How’s yours?